Noise annoys, as British punks The Buzzcocks said back in the 70s. And in NYC, despite the new noise ordinances passed in 2007, there were more than 140,000 noise complaints dialed in to 311 between the winter of 2013 and the fall of 2014. That’s one complaint every four minutes, so it’s clear that noise pollution is not a small problem at all.
After literally years of study, New York State and Gov. Cuomo have made a decision: There will be no fracking for natural gas in New York State.
If you haven’t been following so far, fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process whereby large amounts of chemically-laced water are forced through relatively fragile shale rock formations, breaking them and forcing trapped gas to flow into wells. There is an immense shale formation called the Marcellus Shale, part of which lies under New York State’s Southern Tier (the area near Binghamton).
For the past two years, the NY-Sun Initiative has been working to reach Gov. Cuomo’s goal of increasing New York State’s solar capacity to 3 gigawatts by 2023. So far, the state has installed or contracted 316 megawatts of solar electricity, more than the entire previous decade. And from now until January 30th, schools, non-profits and governments will be able to upgrade to solar systems for bargain basement prices.
This holiday season, lots of people will be getting shiny new toys to play with: game consoles, TVs, computers, tablets, phones and smartwatches. Some people will even get new appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances. Even though holiday shopping is down this year, rest assured that the holidays still add up to a lot of trash and waste.
On January 8 in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2014 State of the State address. While the broadcast version of the address focused on tax relief, affordable housing and airport renovations, the print version of the address has a section with some very welcome and ambitious plans for energy independence for New York- not by focusing on hydraulic fracturing (more commonly known as fracking) but by increasing the amount of decentralized electricity generation. In other words, community solar, where neighbors band together to buy or lease systems together, lowering their initial costs and creating a neighborhood microgrid that can help restore power during blackouts and superstorms.
The relevant section on solar begins on page 70, and here’s a sample of what’s in store for community solar in NY in 2014: